Four Guard Brigades Alerted for Iraq Duty
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 9, 2007 Four National Guard brigade combat teams have been notified for possible deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, DoD officials said today.
The units are the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, based in Little Rock, Ark.; the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, from Oklahoma City; the 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, from Indianapolis; and the 37th Brigade Combat Team, out of Columbus, Ohio.
The units are not scheduled to begin deployment until December, officials said, and some may not go at all. “The units will only be deployed if conditions on the ground dictate it,” a DoD spokesman said.
These units will be mobilized for one year in total. In the past, units often mobilized months in advance of a one-year deployment to train for the mission. Officials would also add a month on the end of a deployment for demobilization. Often units spent 16 months mobilized for a yearlong deployment.
A total of 13,000 National Guardsmen are affected by the alert. The alert is earlier than is common for active-duty units. This time gives the units time to notify families and employers of the possible deployment. It also gives the soldiers time to train for the tasks they will perform in Iraq.
While all of these units have deployed in the war on terror, most of the soldiers in the units have not. DoD officials said that more than 60 percent of the soldiers in these four brigades have not deployed before.
The 39th Brigade served under the command of the 1st Cavalry Division from February 2004 to February 2005.
The 45th Brigade Combat Team served in Afghanistan to support training of the Afghan National Army. The unit deployed in Fall 2003.
The 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team served in Kosovo from August 2004 to February 2005. The brigade includes soldiers from Ohio and Michigan.
Many elements of Indiana's 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team have deployed since November 2002 to both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. The last brigade-level rotation was in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan from May 2004 to August 2005.